Leonard Cohen's Chelsea Hotel Intro, Kansas City-Nov 9, 2009 is a Special Highlight

I had heard many versions and variations of Leonard Cohen meeting Janis Joplin in the Chelsea Hotel elevator and the Kris Kristofferson exchange. But I had never heard some of the very witty observations he related at the Kansas City concert. (in bold below)

The Kansas City audience was very boisterous and that helped to make the experience even more memorable. Luckily, I had my camera rolling and captured Leonard Cohen's delightful intro to the Chelsea Hotel on video. I was thrilled to be sitting there witnessing it. And it has remained one of the special highlights of the 16 concerts of the World Tour I attended.

I was sitting in this bar in Miami Beach
It was a Polynesian restaurant
And I was drinking a cocktail out of a ceramic vessel
that was fashioned to resemble a coconut
I was taking a vacation from the deeply authentic
It allowed what was left of my mind to drift back
to earlier days, to the 60's
which contrary to conventional wisdom
only lasted 15 minutes

It was during that period
that I lived in the hotel on 23rd Street
I came home one night after a pointless evening
And I rode up to my room on the elevator
There was a lovely young woman in the elevator
of ordinary countenance,
but with a radiant spirit that (inaudible)
And being Canadian I kept to myself
I had occasion to come down to the lobby once again
And she was still in the elevator
apparently riding the elevator
And then when I took the elevator back to my room
she was still there

I eventually say, can I help you
She said, no
And I said, are you looking for someone
She said, yes I am
I'm looking for Kris Kristofferson
I said, little lady, you're in luck
I'm Kris Kristofferson
Such was the generosity of those times
I thought you would be taller

Back to the bar in Miami Beach
I began to scribble some notes
And those notes became this song...

Chelsea Hotel photos: Google Images
A collection of Chelsea Hotel prologues can be found here

No comments:

Post a Comment